It’s August — the silage is made, the lambs are weaned — the hill farmer’s fancy can fly!
Amser siow — Showtime!
He and she will disport themselves with their neighbours ( please note the youngsters in the background sloping off into the bushes).
Or he may just watch the people and think vaguely of finding a mate.
Young bucks can pit themselves, one on one, in the shearing ring.
Challenging their elders —
While in the produce tent there is combat of a more serious nature — the carrot wars.
The children meanwhile are introduced to a tarantula by an entertainer with a mission — he hands a scorpion out absent mindedly to a little boy, ‘ Here, hold this!’ the boy looks uncomfortable and hands it to the even smaller girl next to him who squeals and drops it. It scuttles towards the flaps of the tent where the parents are huddled nervously, they all jump backwards. The man with the mission scoops it up and plonks it on another child’s eager out-stretched hand.
Later he opens box after box and, in the same casual way, hands out the snakes — puts the curled up corn snake down on the head of a convenient child and festoons his bag of snub-nosed snakes on the shoulders of another group who stand very still — but not for long. Soon there is a milling of excited kids all with reptiles about their person — pythons and a skink, which makes them squeal louder because it poohs. There is a beautiful green chameleon and for those who are scared of rats there is a giant Gambian pouched rat.
Gradually the grown-ups start to creep in to the back of the tent and he says, ‘Do you mind?’ to a wary looking man, ‘this is rather heavy,’ and without waiting for a reply, drapes him with a huge king python.
Now the nervous parents are stroking the rat and the reptiles which nestle happily in the arms and hoods and up the jumpers of their relaxed children — mission accomplished!
Out in the sunshine the donkey racing has started — a lady who does not ride horses and who has just drunk a significant quantity of fruit cider is loaded into a metal chariot which is attached to a mule. The race is on — she valiantly lashes the mule with the reins, the chariot corners precariously, it does not tip and she comes second in her heat — everyone cheers.
Time for the final —
and genes will out. The final of the Donkey Derby is fought out between a mother and her daughter who unmistakably demonstrate the same joyful vitality — though Mum has just a bit more grit.